This article is tailored for patients. Refer your patients to this article for them to learn more about their condition.
6 Reasons Why Healthcare Advocacy is Important
The healthcare system is becoming increasingly complex and fragmented, with more areas of healthcare becoming a bigger mystery to patients every day. What affects our skin, our body, and even our mental health are bogged down by challenges and lack of access to information.
Proper healthcare advocacy can create the best situation for patients. Not only can this improve patient trust, but it can also help reduce the burden on patients. Here are 6 reasons why healthcare advocacy is important and why your team should support it now.
1: It Builds Communication and Rapport
Healthcare advocacy is a vital component in any medical practice. As you build a professional relationship with your patients, being an advocate for their benefit and wellbeing.
The primary responsibility of becoming a healthcare advocate is to become the guiding hand in a patient’s healthcare journey. Whether it’s in their primary care, post-op tertiary care to post-hospitalization, and billing, your job is to reduce the complexity of the process for them. Help them to create a better rapport. Communication between patients and doctors improves as you show that you are an advocate for their benefit and wellbeing.
By being a patient advocate, you help create lasting connections for the patient. These connections make them trust the system more and reduce hesitancy when it comes to treatments. It simplifies what should be one of the most complex processes of their lives, making you an effective healthcare provider.
2: It Reduces The Stress of the Healthcare Journey
Whether we like it or not, healthcare is stressful for patients. After all, it’s a life or death situation for them and a bad result or news can change their lives. Billing and coding are also very specialized, as well as performing insurance claims that can complicate matters even more.
With that said, healthcare advocacy helps make the journey less stressful. A healthcare advocate provides alternatives that can help simplify care and reduce the number of steps they need to get the type of healthcare they need.
Whether it’s an online medical consultation or something more, patients are less likely to resist if you offer them choices that are within reason. Not only does this reduce the stress of the situation, but you also empower them to do their own medical decisions and still be comfortable within the scope of proper healthcare.
3: It Encourages Evidence-Based Patient Education
Patient healthcare advocacy should involve educating patients on the right medical journey. Proper patient engagement can help them learn more about the right medical treatments and why such procedures matter. This will also help guide them through misinformation through evidence-based healthcare education.
As healthcare providers, your job is to help simplify healthcare, especially to those who feel the system is untrustworthy. Simple education can save countless lives, especially those of skeptics and their dependents affected by their questionable decision-making.
4: It Affects Policymaking and Public Health
On a large scale, healthcare advocacy decides the direction of bills and laws that affect the general population. These guide lawmakers, leaders, movers, and shakers who form policies and give them the means to decide the future of the people as a whole.
Proper healthcare advocacy gives policymakers an informed decision if they decide to follow the evidence. Well-informed decisions help providers and patients alike, unraveling the increasingly complicated state of modern care.
Broad healthcare advocacy also stimulates reforms, especially to dated medical information. Through current medical research, it puts new findings into practice, cultivating better partnerships between policy, professionals, and patients. In addition, it endeavors to create healthcare that factors socio-economic conditions like poverty into the care patients receive.
5: It Provides Care For Patients Beyond Treatment
As patients navigate the ins and outs of the healthcare system, a common issue is that patients need to face the many uncertainties that their illnesses bring. The burdens of shouldering one’s responsibilities to their health can be problematic, if not downright impractical. Many problems will arise if patient advocacy does not reach a wider scope.
How can patients who live alone care for themselves? How can patients who have traumatic vehicular accidents coordinate for their own lab tests?
Some patients have family members who can take care of these issues, while others only have themselves to rely on. Healthcare advocates with the right training can help ensure that the needs of the patients are met. These don’t only extend within a clinical setting but further down, which can help protect patients long-term.
Depending on the situation, healthcare advocates are there to help guide patients into having the right level of care afforded to them. Trained advocates can help explain the situation, clarify the choices available to them, and even consult their families about the right direction for their healthcare.
6: It Ensures Equal Healthcare Access For All
It is every healthcare provider’s sworn duty to care for patients and provide them honor and dignity, regardless of their race, religion, and socio-economic status. Everyone should be provided equal access to healthcare and no other detail should factor into someone’s access apart from their need for it.
Healthcare advocacy ensures that every patient who needs the right procedure can get the procedure they need. Advocacy adheres to universal human value and the idea that everyone has a right to receive the highest attainable standard of care.
Health professionals have the responsibility to advocate equal access to care, as well as ways to improve the human condition. By encouraging them to not discriminate, it creates a higher quality of care not only for the organization but for everyone as well.
Advocates should assist in alleviating the suffering of patients, as well as helping improve their quality of life. While every patient has a different healthcare journey, every patient suffers all the same. Advocating quality healthcare for all helps the entire system move towards a more compassionate direction.
The Bottom Line
Healthcare advocacy is a crucial subject that lends itself towards ensuring equal access to care and navigating the growing complexity of the healthcare system. It is important to remember that health professionals should always ensure the best care they can provide while reducing the suffering that patients endure.
Becoming a healthcare advocate is a crucial step towards making the world a better place. A functioning society relies on a healthcare system that cares about the people and those within it. The reasons above should give you a good idea if your advocacy is going in the right direction.